As a homeowner, you’ll use a ladder in many different situations. Knowing ladder safety is important because of the dangerous accidents that might happen while on the ladder.
You might have to fix something inside or outside of the house, during holidays you might hang decorations up high, or something at a higher level on your house might need cleaned. You’ll never know when you have to use it!
No matter what you use it for, you have to take safety precautions while using one. In this article, I will share reasons you might need to use a ladder, the dangers of using one, and how to protect yourself when using a ladder.
Reasons You’ll Need a Ladder
House maintenance is a big reason people have ladders in the first place. During fall, many people use a ladder for cleaning their gutters.
Inside of the house you might use a ladder to change a light bulb, paint the higher part of the ceiling, or dusting a fan.
Holidays make people bring out the ladders too. Hanging Christmas lights on the roof, hanging decorations from the ceiling, or putting a star on the top of a tree.
Many jobs require using a ladder such as being a painter, window cleaner, fire fighter, and construction workers.
Dangers of Ladders
Although we need to use ladders often, they are extremely dangerous. EZ Smart Tools says that according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, every year, 500,000 people are treated for ladder-related injuries, and approximately 300 of those incidents prove to be fatal.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission says that almost 250,000 people were treated in a hospital emergency department because of an injury on a ladder.
Safety BLR states that these are the most common causes of ladder accidents…
- Accidents in which the wrong ladder is used.
- Accidents in which a ladder fails because it is in poor condition.
- Accidents in which the ladder is used improperly.
Reading over these ladder safety tips and putting them into action will help you to not turn into one of these statistics.
Here are some ladder safety tips to make sure you read before using a ladder…
- Check that the ladder is in good condition. Inspect steps and uprights to be sure that they are secure, and that the spreaders (on stepladders) lock in place for stability.
- Make sure the ladder has non-slip feet or spikes.
- Before getting on the ladder, make sure the area around it is clear and remove any items you can potentially step on coming off of the ladder.
- The base of the ladder should be stable and level.
- Instead of carrying tools in your hand, use a tool belt to carry tools while climbing up a ladder.
- When using tools on the ladder, keep yourself braced with your free hand.
- Do not stand on the top two steps or the bucket shelf.
- Before climbing up, open the ladder fully and lock spreaders.
- Don’t place the ladder on unstable surfaces.
- If the ladder is in front of a door, make sure the door is locked.
- Check the bottom of your shoes! Make sure they are dry and free of anything that could make you slip. Wearing shoes or boots that give your feet proper support and have a good fit is important.
- Keep your body centered on the ladder as much as possible to prevent the ladder from moving.
- Move the ladder as needed to prevent awkward reaches.
Use a Ladder Successfully
Learning how serious and common ladder injuries are will help you to become more aware of safety when you use one. Keep these tips in your mind while using a ladder.